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The PATH to rude behavior

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot
Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot

COMMUTER WOES : As Sabrina Francois boarded the PATH train for work the other day, a mother and child also got on. The woman sat down and was about to put her son beside her when a man suddenly jostled the boy and slid in. The woman politely spoke to him, but he said: “Too bad.” You hear stories like this about city subways all the time. But the PATH train?

Operating 24/7, the PATH system now boasts more than 70 million riders a year. That’s plenty of opportunity for frustration, one conductor admitted.

Come rush hour, it’s every man and woman for him/herself, he said, noting that many are likely in the middle of a transfer to another bus or train.

No one wants to be late, so there will be a bit of pushing and shoving as the cars fill up — in the morning with people trying to get to work on time and at night with those trying to get home before dinner gets cold.

Courtesy regulations are difficult to create and enforce; costs to have Port Authority police regularly riding the trains would be astronomical. We’d all end up paying a lot more than $1.75 a trip.

PATH riders can sign up for Path Alerts or Path Tweets, immediately notifying them of train delays, authority spokesman Ron Marsico said. Scheduling information is updated every 20 minutes, he said. Combined, those moves should help ease the stress.

However, if you have an experience that is so bad it must be reported, Marsico said you should immediately go to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey website, click “Contact Us,” and write in your complaint. A PATH representative will contact you within two business days, he said.

Thanks to our friend, the conductor, CLIFFVIEW PILOT has an even better tip:

As the PATH train is pulling up, hustle to the conductor’s car and ride alongside him or her. The conductor has a direct line to police and can stop the train, if necessary. People in the immediate area tend to behave a bit better.


Have any public transportation questions, comments or complaints? Welcome to the place where you can get straight answers. Just write to cliffviewpilot.com . In the Subject line, write: COMMUTER WOES . Explain y our situation as briefly as you can. We’ll get right on it.


Raven Dobyns is a graduate student at Pace University in Manhattan working towards an MS in Publishing. Originally from Baltimore, she’s living in Jersey City — and has to rely on public transportation to get around.

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